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Experimental MacRuby Branch Is 3x Faster 191

An anonymous reader writes "Zen and the Art of Programming published an article about MacRuby's new experimental 0.5 branch (project blog entry here). According to the included benchmarks, Apple's version of Ruby could already, at this early stage of its development, be about three times as fast as the fastest Ruby implementation available elsewhere."
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Experimental MacRuby Branch Is 3x Faster

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  • And... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Creepy Crawler ( 680178 ) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @05:17PM (#27381841)

    Of course, Slashdot is a dime short and days late on the real news.

    JavaScript 3-10x Faster On iPhone OS 3.0 [theappleblog.com]

    Well, for a better, no BS news aggregator, try The Hacker News [ycombinator.com]. Then after seeing it there for a few days, come to slashdot to see a regurgitated discussion.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 29, 2009 @06:01PM (#27382099)
    What's so special about this implementation? It runs on an intel x86 running a modified bsd kernel. I suppose that this was spiked with a healthy dose of reality distortion field, (remember how RISC processors were X times faster than chips that fell prey to the dreaded "megahertz myth") right up until they switched, and the new systems were 4-6x faster than the old ones?
  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot@NOsPam.hackish.org> on Sunday March 29, 2009 @06:06PM (#27382127)

    Common Lisp is ultra-dynamic and whatnot and still compiles to machine code, which in some implementations (SBCL/CMUCL) is quite respectable in performance. Is there something inherently less-compilable about Python, Ruby, Perl, etc., or have they just not had the same engineering work put into them?

  • by 33degrees ( 683256 ) <33degrees.gmail@com> on Sunday March 29, 2009 @06:17PM (#27382197)
    While the Ruby 1.8 VM is quite slow, the YARV VM used in 1.9 is much faster, resulting in similar performance to most other dynamic languages. These tests are showing MacRuby being 3x faster than 1.9, which puts it in "quite fast" territory.
  • by cryptoluddite ( 658517 ) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @06:31PM (#27382269)

    Common Lisp scores really well on benchmarks because they turn off all the safety protections that are most of the reason to use a dynamic language in the first place.

    All scripting/dynamic languages are slow, and they always will be because nobody wants a really high level language that crashes.

  • Re:Your sig (Score:3, Informative)

    by Creepy Crawler ( 680178 ) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @06:46PM (#27382397)

    Thanks ;)

    You'd be surprised of the multitudes of comments I get on me and my bastardly signature... Well, you could always look at my freaks list to get an inking.

    I thought it was rather dryly funny.

  • by Tubal-Cain ( 1289912 ) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @07:40PM (#27382797) Journal
    ...line. It is disorienting for the people that don't always read the subject line (almost everybody). And capitalizing the first word of the body text when the word takes place in the middle of the sentence doesn't help, either.
  • Re:Your sig (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 29, 2009 @07:59PM (#27382901)

    I thought it was rather dryly funny.

    It was mildly funny a long time ago. It's boring and irritating now.

  • by ChunderDownunder ( 709234 ) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @09:29PM (#27383391)
    Who mentioned programming Java? Only your fouled-mouthed troll.

    Cyberax was talking about running languages such as Python [jython.org], Ruby [codehaus.org] or Lisp [clojure.org] on the Java Virtual Machine. In turns out that many of the runtime techniques within HotSpot to speed Java can also be used to optimise the performance of others. Where not the case, special mechanisms are being added to bytecode to create a truly language independant VM [java.net].

    Thanks to Red Hat, there's also an LLVM based backend for HotSpot in development, Shark [classpath.org].
  • Re:All right! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @11:41PM (#27384105)

    Care to bet on that? I've seen 5 minute boot times for XP on end-of-life hardware, primarily due to massive delays in indexing large disk drives. And no, it's not "booted" until it gives you a usable mouse and keyboard. Printing up the Windows boot screen and ignoring you for another few minutes does not count as "booted". Vista is noticeably worse on the same hardware due to the larger memory footprint: Win9x used to be OK on the hardware.

  • by FooBarWidget ( 556006 ) on Monday March 30, 2009 @04:31AM (#27385469)

    Tell that to MTV and New York Times. [google.com] Yes, they run Rails. Not on the front page, but nevertheless, they use it on very busy parts of their sites.

    And heck, do I even need to mention 37signals? Those guys receive tons and tons of requests per second.

  • by FooBarWidget ( 556006 ) on Monday March 30, 2009 @04:39AM (#27385513)

    "Thanks, Captain Anecdote, but you've left out even the anecdotal evidence. What's all this exclusive writing you're doing with Ruby? I've been doing all my grocery list work in Ruby too, and it's *totally* fast enough."

    I'm not the GP, but New York Times, MTV, Aboutus.com (high-ranking Alexa site), Yellow Pages, are all running Ruby. I'd love to give you even more examples but I've signed NDAs.

    "I think Ruby is a fantastic language, but then I see comments like this modded up to 5 that are completely nonsensical. This makes Ruby fandom seem more like Java 1999, which makes me think twice about my positive opinion of it."

    I can say the same thing about comments that complain about Ruby's speed without providing any kind evidence that the interpreter's speed is the bottleneck in their application. This makes it seem like bashing Ruby is just the latest fad, which makes it very hard for me to take any of these complaints seriously. If you cry wolf several times then nobody will listen to you anymore.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 30, 2009 @05:21AM (#27385705)
    But since neither LLVM nor Clang are licensed under the GPL, RMS will never accept it.

    Also, if you've not followed the GCC development mailing lists it seems a large number of core GCC developers are very unhappy with the FSF's "meddling" in the project. Most recently almost all development was brought to a standstill for over two months when the FSF mulled over changes to a license text while the project was in regression-only mode in preparation for the 4.4.0 branch. The kicker was that the license changes were relevant only to the future 4.5 version which will introduce a plugin architecture and were completely unnecessary for the 4.4.0 release. The views expressed by the developers before the problem was resolved indicate that many of them would be prepared to jump ship if they find that the FSF is hindering the development of the compiler.
  • Re:GNUstep? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 30, 2009 @08:25AM (#27386639)

    Macruby is based on Objective-C 2 (which privides a garbage collector).

    AFAIK, GNUstep doesnt use Objective-C 2. So, you would also have to port that. :/

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